Archive for December, 2011

Update on Jeremy’s Radio – even some DX in the first contacts logged!

Well done Jeremy!

You can read & see much more about his neat project at:



Hi Steve K9ZW,

I just wanted to share the news — I made a couple contacts today on 20m!

#1 was KA3UNQ/P at the Drum Pt. lighthouse in MD, #2 was KB1KTF in West Hartford Ct.. I talked a little longer with KB1KTF, and he gave me a good report on audio and signal, so I was very happy! I got the final output up to 5 – 10 watts with a 12v supply and I was going to try 24v next to see if I could get the power up a bit more, but things seem to be working ok so far.

I am just relieved to finally make some contacts so that I can say that the transceiver DOES work! Until now I just thought it was probably working. Getting power output on 20m has been much more difficult than 80m; I made a few changes today that brought the output up a bit more, so I thought I would give it a try and to my amazement it worked.

After trying to make contact for quite a while on 80m it was a huge surprise to hear someone come back to me. I made another contact this evening — VEA6POP in Calgary and he gave me a 5/7 report. It must be a world of difference from the 80m band where I was fairly certain I was putting out more than 5x power than I am on 20m. Now I have to design a QSL card to send out.


Jeremy KC9BWK

Jeremy KC8BWK's Homebrew  SSB Transceiver

Jeremy KC8BWK's Homebrew SSB Transceiver (in Yellow Lines)

Tyler, N7TFP, shows you how to properly set your microphone gain when operating SSB:

Interesting Icom factory tour write-up:



From the ARRL link emailed out today:

A Ham’s Night Before Christmas

An Amateur Radio Christmas video by Gary Pearce, KN4AQ, with guitar melody by Don Mercz, WA3AYR. Posted with permission from Gary Pearce.



In Honor of Fessenden and Heising

The early history of wireless contains the names of many great pioneers. While Marconi’s name is most well known, the names of Fessenden and Heising are only rarely mentioned.

As early as 1900 Reginald Fessenden was experimenting with the direct transmission of human speech. While during WW1, Raymond Heising was developing a method of constant-current modulation that was one of the earliest forms of AM.

Since I have been one of the active CW 600m stations as part of the ARRL’s Experimental License project for some time now, I decided to take a step or two further into the realm of early radio transmissions. One of the transmitters I have used for 600m CW and QRSS work has been a vintage homebrew design that could support traditional CW and Heising AM. Since the ARRL’s Part 5 license only supports CW and narrow-band digital modes, the Heising modulator went unused until a new idea came to mind.

Fessenden’s early work includes a very unique 1906 Christmas Eve transmission of him playing the violin, a recording of a “Ombra mai fu”, and him reading a Bible verse. An idea was thus born to apply for an FCC STA (Special Temporary Authorization) for 600m operation that is for amplitude modulation, in particular the Heising modulation. With the cooperation of commercial coastal CW station WNE and the FCC’s OET (Office of Engineering Technology) the STA with call sign WF9XIH was granted for AM transmissions until March 1st, 2012 with a center carrier frequency of 472.5kHz. The plan is to begin a series of evening test transmissions the week of December 18th, 2011 with a special recreation of Fessenden’s Christmas Eve transmission at 0200z on Dec 25th. (That would be 9pm EST Dec 24th, 2011).

Since the likelihood of a 5w AM signal being heard much beyond a few 10’s of miles, a 500W solid state linear PA will be used for best DX. WF9XIH is licensed for up to 20wERP (just like the WD2XSH stations) and every effort will be made to run as close to that ERP as possible. The same antenna (a 160m dipole feed as a Marconi-T against ground) that has been used for WD2XSH/31 will be used for WF9XIH.

Commercial station WNE is currently running CW marine weather transmissions at 2200z & 0100z daily. So you can sharpen your 25WPM CW skills at those times too. WF9XIH transmissions are being coordinated with WNE and any changes to the WNE schedule will alter the WF9XIH operating times.

The current plan is to at least make a Heising AM transmission most evenings at 0200z. Audio loops of speech and a series of stepped audio tones will be used most of the time. The stepped audio tones will make it easier for DX listeners to demodulate in CW or SSB mode even when they are well beyond the range of the AM signal.

Information about WD2XSH/31 can be found at:

If you copy any of the transmissions, please be sure to log them at

Extra effort will be made to try and be QRV in the evenings the week before and after the Christmas weekend.


Brian Justin, WA1ZMS/4 & WD2XSH/31 & WF9XIH

Here are the meeting minutes from our Decmeber 2011 meeting.


Steve K9ZW


As Mancorad continues marking its 65th birthday a few more QSOs were logged today (Dec 17th, 2011):

  • DK5AI (Hellschreiber) operator Steve K9ZW
  • K6RGS (via PSK31) operator Steve K9ZW
  • N2ATB (via PSK31) operator Steve K9ZW
  • KI5WK (via PSK31) operator Steve K9ZW
  • EA1DFU (via PSK31) operator Steve K9ZW
  • WA2DUE (via PSK31) operator Steve K9ZW
  • KC8WSM (via PSK31) operator Jeremy KC9BWK
  • KB3RUN (via PSK31) operator Jeremy KC9BWK
  • KB1UIF (via PSK31) operator Jeremy KC9BWK
  • KD8KFQ (via PSK31) operator Jeremy KC9BWK
  • AJ4DW (via PSK31) operator Jeremy KC9BWK
  • KG2MD (via PSK31) operator Steve K9ZW
  • VE4MO (via PSK31) operator Steve K9ZW
  • N5IKG (via PSK31) operator Steve K9ZW
  • NW6B (via PSK31) operator Steve K9ZW

The Ubuntu Linux computer running fldigi drove the Rigblaster TS-570D setup.